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Pastitsio Recipe

Pastitsio Recipe

Guests always seem to gobble up this authentic Greek beef and pasta casserole. The creamy white sauce is delicious.—Amanda Briggs, Greenfield, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 30 min. + standing YIELD:4 servings


  • 1 package (7 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • 1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, oregano, pepper and, if desired, cinnamon; heat through.
  • 2. Drain macaroni; place half of macaroni in a greased 9-in.-square baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Layer with meat mixture and remaining macaroni. Set aside.
  • 3. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour and remaining salt until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.
  • 4. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into egg; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining cheese. Pour sauce over macaroni.
  • 5. Bake, uncovered, 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 614 calories, 26g fat (13g saturated fat), 147mg cholesterol, 1206mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 3g fiber), 38g protein

Reviews for Pastitsio

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Reviewed Apr. 16, 2016

"I used ground chicken as my meat. I did the rest of the recipe as written and added the cinnamon. I added the macaroni to the meat mixture, then I put have the meat & mac mixture to dish, sprinkled 1/2 cup parmesan cheese over mixture, than added other half. Poured the b?chamel over and baked. It was delicious. My husband said it was a keeper."

Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

"Followed the recipe exactly. Did not add the cinnamon as it was optional.I used ground lamb when I realized it was a Greek dish. My husband said he couldn't taste the onions ( I used a large onion because thats all I had) so it should have been enough, also we couldn't taste the garlic or Oregano. My sauce was too thick but didn't know how thick it should have been. Maybe if the sauce was thinner allowing it to spread down into the dish before baking it would have tasted better, but who knows. It was edible but not memorable."

Reviewed Jul. 13, 2014

"Good stuff! This is a yummy comfort food!"

Reviewed May. 6, 2014

"The whole family loved it! That is worth a 5 star review at our house!"

Reviewed Apr. 16, 2014

"I liked this meal, it was very satisfying."

Reviewed Apr. 14, 2014

"My husband loved this dish, so i am giving it 5 stars!"

Reviewed Mar. 2, 2013

"Excellent recipe. I love this dish anyway and was looking for an easy recipe. This one fits the bill. Definitely a favorite. The only thing I did differently was used Kasseri, a Greek cheese, in place of the Parmesan because I had some on-hand. "

Reviewed Apr. 18, 2012

"I have made this several times. Total 5 star. I am now on the Maximized Living eating plan and I am going to make this and substitute zuchinni strips for the pasta."

Reviewed Mar. 5, 2012

"I loved it! I used shells instead of macaroni. And I made my own tomato sauce from tomatoes I had roasted and froze from summer. I will make this again."

Reviewed Mar. 5, 2012

"I loved it! I used shells instead of macaroni. And I made my own tomato sauce from tomatoes I have roasted and froze from summer. I will make this again."

Reviewed Feb. 28, 2012

"this is a family favorite! we add more cheese to the topping because we are cheese freaks haha but everytime i say i want to make this.. everyone smiles!"

Reviewed Nov. 17, 2011

"I've made this several times. It's delicious comfort food."

Reviewed Aug. 6, 2011

"this took too long to make for being just "fair". i liked the flavor of the sauce topping but there should've been more of it. also would be better if the sauce wasn't as thick and would soak into the pasta layer below more. won't bother making again"

Reviewed Aug. 3, 2011

"I made this recipe last week and was surprised how easy it went together and how tasteful it was. The only change was I used Italian seasoning instead of the oregano. Will definitely make this again."

Reviewed May. 2, 2011

"Hubby thinks I should have put some mozzy cheese on top."

Reviewed Apr. 3, 2011

"I've made this twice now and absolutely love it! I make mine with ground lamb and of course I added the cinnamon..which enhances the flavor of the lamb. This is an easy and very flavorful dish served with a greek salad and crusty bread!"

Reviewed Mar. 16, 2011

"this is my favorite! i found this recipe on the magazine and wanted to try it. it is a family favorite and i have made it 5 times now. all i changed was we did 1 1/2 lbs ground beef and doubled the cheese. (we are a family that loves cheese) i love the cinnamon! thats a must! and i use the asiago 3 cheese. PERFECT!! i love to cook so it was fun for me and totally worth it!"

Reviewed Mar. 8, 2011

"This is a very easy to follow recipe that results in an excellent dish."

Reviewed Feb. 2, 2011

"I would definitely make this again. The cinnamon was an interesting, and delicious, touch."

Reviewed Feb. 1, 2011

"Loved this recipe so easy and thought enough seasoning, not too much. Will make again!"

Reviewed Jan. 17, 2011

"I am now making this for the second time. The mix of flavors is fabulous. I used half the cinnamon this time; the extra touch is a nice change from other tomato sauce dishes."

Reviewed Jan. 13, 2011

"I made this last night and my daughter said "This is my favorite Mom you should give it 5 stars" she usually doesn't like any sauce on pasta. I used half the cinnamon too and my husband tasted right away but still liked it."

Reviewed Jan. 5, 2011

"Great recipe; the whole family enjoyed it. Used the cinnamon and didn't find it overpowering at all. It will be fun to experiment with different cheeses next time too!"

Reviewed Dec. 30, 2010

"I have 4 adult children who are so picky that in my house, most left overs get thrown out but this stayed a few days, only because when I made it no one was home, and also with it being different, it seemed they were afraid to try it. Once they saw me eating it, then they "tried it" and before I knew it, it was gone! (I was a little disappointed because I really wanted more!) My pickiest son said it was a definite "make it again" recipe! Thank you for sharing."

Reviewed Dec. 22, 2010

"Simple, irresistible taste. The nice thick white sauce on top makes it taste like a jazzed-up mac & cheese. My kids ate it uncomplainingly!"

Reviewed Dec. 20, 2010

"Easy to prepare and much easier than lasagna. My family all liked it and said to make it again. It serves closer to 6 people and could easily be doubled for a crowd. You could also change up the spices and cheese for a different flavor. Maybe use cheddar cheese and chili powder and cumin for more of a chili mac flavor."

Reviewed Dec. 14, 2010

"I saw this in the Christmas issue and thought I would give it a try. Followed the directions to a tee except I used asiago cheese , as that is what I had on hand. My husband said it was as good as he had eaten at work. ( He worked for a Greek company) Said they served this over eggplant, so I will definitely try that the next time. We had brussell sprouts. Oh well, did not knowm any different! :)"

Reviewed Dec. 9, 2010

"This recipe turned out delicious! 35 minutes to prep, no way. Took 10 minutes waiting for sauce to come to boil, just allow extra time. Brought some to work for my Greek friends to taste, they were totally impressed. To me it's as time consuming as making lasagna but absolutely worth it."

Reviewed Dec. 3, 2010

"Only put in 1/2- 3/4 of the cinnamon called for and you could definately still taste it in the recipe. Kids and husband liked it but next time leave the cinnamon out."

Reviewed Dec. 1, 2010

"Never had Pastitsio before. so I thought I would try this. It was delicious, and very flavorful. Great recipe!"

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Wine Pairings

Medium-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.